Willy Caballero was the only one of our summer signings to experience the pre-season tour of Asia from start to finish.
The former Manchester City goalkeeper signed at the start of July and although he was joined by Alvaro Morata and Antonio Rudiger as the tour progressed, it is Caballero who is best placed to give a verdict on our time in China and Beijing from the point of view of someone fresh to Chelsea.
‘It was a good pre-season tour,’ he declares. ‘After a long career it is a new one, in this case with a manager from Italy so I was expecting training like that, and it was good.
‘The way we work with Thibaut Courtois and Eduardo, it was fantastic. The way they gave me a very warm welcome, it was amazing and also the whole squad. Pre-season was good and it was what I was expecting, but it was a surprise for me to have to sing!
‘That was a very good night but it was a little bit stressful because I wasn’t expecting something like that. It was funny and a new culture for me, although when you are in front of the players and the boss, close to you, it is not so funny! I sang a Spanish reggae tune.’
With one game in Beijing and two in Singapore, the squad was able to spend plenty of time in one location.
‘The way the big teams are doing pre-season now, it is well-organised,’ notes the 35-year-old. ‘Of course we sometimes suffer with the weather as it is a big change between London and China and Singapore, but it is really good, I prefer that we live every day with all the fans in the hotel, and they can go to the stadium or they can go to the match. It is fantastic for us to have this moment so we know when we are playing in the Premier League, who some of the people are that we are playing for outside.’
The experienced Caballero believes the squad are close to reaching the conditions needed to start the new Premier League campaign.
‘The staff are working really hard to reach this level and most of the new players arrive here to keep this level or improve it,’ he said. ‘It is going to be hard when the season starts but the most important thing is the atmosphere there is in the changing room. With this group, we have very good achievement in this.’